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Brickyard VFX Wraps up Effects for Target "Gift Card"

Artist-owned-and-operated effects company Brickyard VFX recently wrapped Target "Gift Card," a 30-second commercial that uses Targetıs red hues and a seamless combination of practical sets and CG to showcase a cityscape full of gift-givers. Brickyard VFX was tapped to complete all visual effects and compositing, with help from make Inc. for the 3D, for the fast-paced, fly-through-style spot in its first project for director Dave Meyers and Targetıs advertising agency, Peterson Milla Hooks.

Brickyard VFX's Patrick Poulatian and Rusty Ippolito of make Inc. teamed up on the CG-intensive ad to apply their expertise in compositing/color-tuning and digital modeling/background creation, respectively.  Visual effects were supervised for the production by Tim Conway, and produced at Brickyard VFX by Diana Young.

The commercial travels from sidewalk to rooftop to highlight little red boxes being exchanged in all corners of life.  A coffee-drinker proffers one up to a friend, the pet groomer gets one from an appreciative customer and guests of honor at a double birthday present each other with the same gift. The action is covered by a perpetually moving camera, which sweeps from the street, in and out of an apartment and up to the terrace of the neighboring building to yet another fête, where girls giddy over a table full of the venerable red boxes ­ and the tagline "Target Gift Card.  Every Day, Every Way." ­ close the spot.

All of the shots involve CG enhancement, with three of the most challenging scenes requiring practical sets to be composited invisibly with CG elements or environments.  The opening scene ­ shot with a practical set for the left-hand sidewalk action only ­ was completed by extending the street downwards and outwards with CG.  Brickyard VFX achieved the apartment window fly-through digitally, with interior action filmed on a live set.  Another completely digital POV impossible to produce practically takes the camera along a wall and up the steps of a fire escape.  The final scene uses a real set and footage of the actors on the roof, with sky replacement and enhancement in CG.

"Not only were we integrating practical set elements and CG into the same scenes, we also needed to transition from these scenes into the digitally created camera travels with seamless results," Poulatian said. "Via my team and the amazing CG modeling and background work from Rusty and his team, Brickyard realized all these complex effects, including some really heavy compositing due to the material and the fact that motion control was not used on set."

Also important to "Gift Card" was a red-hued theme.  From brick facades to fire hydrants, Targetıs color scheme pops throughout the spot.

"Trash receptacles, taxi cabs, tablecloths, t-shirts-- it was important for Target's red theme to carry through," noted Diana Young at Brickyard VFX. "In addition to finessing these color elements, we also spent a good deal of time fine-tuning the color correction to make the practicals blend with CG. It was a lot to accomplish on a tight three-week timetable, but we were very excited about the project and about collaborating with VFX Supervisor Tim Conway and the Peterson Milla Hooks team.  With our experience in both commercials and music videos, we also really enjoyed the opportunity to work with Dave Meyers, a top name in music video direction and an increasingly in-demand talent in the commercials space."

"We have relied on Dave Meyers' eye and direction in the visual effects world on many jobs in the past, so we felt very confident when he steered us into Brickyard's yard," Peterson Milla Hooks Executive Producer Gary Tassone said. "We were impressed with the company's reel and its capabilities in getting this tightly budgeted job together and delivered up to our usually high Target spec.  On set, Brickyard artists were there to guide us all the way, so the moment we wrapped, we knew they had everything they needed to marry the material with the CG. Brickyard came through for us and our client, and we are thrilled with the results."

  About Brickyard VFX

Located in Boston and Santa Monica, Brickyard VFX is an independent visual effects boutique specializing in digital finishing, effects and compositing. Completely artist owned and operated, the company was founded in 1999 to bring commercial clients a level of customer service, craftsmanship and focus difficult to find at facilities today.  Brickyardıs problem-solving expertise on set and in the studio has been applied to enhance, color correct, re-light, track and composite shots on high-profile campaigns for Chevrolet, Old Navy, Budweiser, Truth, Tyson Foods and many other accounts. For more information, please call Brickyard VFX Pacific at (310) 453-5722, Brickyard VFX Atlantic at (617) 262-3220, or visit <>          

Company: Brickyard VFX and make Inc.
Airdate: September 19, 2004
Client: Target
Title: "Gift Card"
Agency: Peterson Milla Hooks
Creative Director: Dave Peterson
Art Director: David Richardson
Copywriter:  Jenny Shears
Account Manager: Gayle Obodozinski
Account Supervisor:Ken Barlage
Executive Producer:  Gary Tassone
VFX Supervisor: Tim Conway

Production Company:
Director: Dave Meyers
Executive Producer: Frank Scherma
Executive Producer: Frank Stiefel
Producer: John Thorpe
Production Supervisor: Carrie McLaren
Head of Production: Cathy Dunn

Editorial: Outpost Digital
Editor: Scott Meyers
Producer: Christine Schneider

Telecine:  Co3
Colorist: Stephan Sonnenfeld        
Finishing/Visual Effects:
Brickyard VFX ­ Boston/Santa Monica
Lead VFX Artist/Compositor: Patrick Poulatian
CG Artist: Rusty Ippolito, make Inc.
VFX Producer: Diana Young         

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Related Keywords:Peterson Milla Hooks, Brickyard VFX


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